Read - 1 John 2:28b
Message - Alan Burke
It wont be long now until we are tucking into that turkey, presents and cards will be sent and given, as we celebrate the incarnation of Christ, how the Son of God became man so that we might be saved by the shedding of his blood, the God Man. Now he is hidden from view since the accession although He is spiritual present with us his people by the Holy Spirit. Yet the day is coming that he will once more appear, he will come again being revealed from heaven. But this time it is to judge the living and the dead, Jesus is coming and he is coming as judge, not as the lovely little picturesk baby in the manger that we imagine that adorns so many of those seasonal greeting cards that are sent, but as Judge. Think back to what we thought about on Monday, where John told us to ‘Abide in Christ’. To continue, to remain, stay with, what ever way you want to put it, John is encouraging them and us to keep running the race, to keep going. It means to allow his Word to fill our minds, allowing his Word to direct all that we do and say, allowing his Word to transform who we are and all of our affections. Abiding in Christ is letting His Word dwell in us and the Spirit fill us.
Abiding in Christ is important because of what John goes on to say “abide in Christ, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.” When Christ returns he will come as judge, but if you abide in him this shouldn’t be an event to baulk at, to fear, to dread, rather if you know the Lord Jesus Christ this day, and if we continue, abide, remain in him then we may be confident and unashamed at his coming. That is what John wants those whom he writes to and us to understand, for if we remain in him, if what we have heard from the beginning the truth of the gospel remains in us (25), so that they and we can know the promise that we have eternal life (26). In the midst of all that is happening in this world, he wants the children of God though faith to look with hope and encouragement at what lies ahead for Christ is coming and we can have confidence before him.
What ever you are facing this day, in your every day life, the ordinary every day toils, if you are weary and tired, if you are grieving, if you are down heartened, discouraged, if everything that lies ahead in the coming weeks and months just seems like too much then know the confidence that you have when he appears. Know this hope, this confidence that when this earthly life comes to an end, or when he returns which ever comes first that you can with confidence come before him. Know that if you remain in him, if you keep going on this race though the highs and many lows you can confidently come before him because of what he has done for you. This is good news for all of us, this is the hope that we need, this is the future we need to look to in the midst of all that we face, because although this world is passing away (17) we have a great hope that when he appears we will not shirk in shame at his coming (28).
Q23 What offices doth Christ execute as our Redeemer?
Christ, as our Redeemer, executeth the offices of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king, both in his estate of humiliation and exaltation. (Acts 3:21–22, Heb. 12:25, 2 Cor. 13:3, Heb. 5:5–7, Heb. 7:25, Ps. 2:6, Isa. 9:6–7, Matt. 21:5, Ps. 2:8–11)
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